Book Review: Atonement, Justice, and Peace: The Message of the Cross and the mission of the Church by Darrin W. Snyder Belousek

book cover

Introduction: Belousek wants to examine penal substitutionary atonement and offer a new formulation in light of biblical, historical, and theological evidence.

The Good: His book is pretty substantive (650+ pages), and fairly thorough in its study. He hits most of the important passages that address the atonement.

The Bad: His driving hermeneutic seems to be that capital punishment is wrong, therefore the cross cannot be seen as punishment. He robs the atonement of any sense of retributive justice, which has HUGE implications for any doctrine of sin, man, Christ…

Overall: This book was very disappointing. I was looking forward to reading  what appeared to be a well researched and thorough look at the atonement. However, it ended up being unsatisfying in its exegesis and heretical in its ultimate formulation of the atonement. I would not recommend buying this, unless you want to show somebody what flawed, modern atonement theories are being produced.


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